Name of the participant and other supporting staff if relevant

Margaret Fingleton

Name of the module and discipline, level and  year of study and any useful background info

Module on Leadership and Strategic management in Social Care, year 1 of a two-year MA in Social Care Leadership and Management. Some students are working as managers and have significant experience in the field and are seeking the qualification to match their experience. There are also students who have just completed undergraduate programmes with limited experience in practice. This means that the group is quite diverse, so ideally it would be beneficial to pair students from each group to enhance the learning experience for all.

Name of community partner and/or any other supporting partners (public or private sector)

A variety of voluntary groups, community and not-for-profit organisations.

CERL project title(s) – (10 words concise description)

Social Care Leadership postgraduate students will do a focused piece of work with community partners in response to their ideas/ need’s analysis/ work packages.  


What you changed about your programme/course in relation to CERL

Margaret has changed the module assessment criteria.  70% of the module assignment was previously for a critical analysis of a piece of work, now it will be allocated to a CERL project instead. The 70% is divided as follows:

1.      Report produced by students for the partner (30%)

2.      Evaluation by community partner on work competed (20%) and evaluation of work output by students (self-evaluation as a pair on teamwork, leadership, communication, organisation) (10%)

3.      Reflection on overall personal, professional and academic learning (10%)

Can you provide any tangible info – e.g. module descriptor, learning outcomes, assignments, assessment criteria


Themes in the Learning Outcomes included:

·        Problem solving and managing conflict

·        Planning and evaluating services

·        Commissioning and funding

·        Promoting EDI

·        Staff development and mentoring

How was it taught:

·        number of students

·        student groupwork or individual,

·        how they worked with the partner,

·        how the project proceeded,

·        any reflection done with students,

·        evaluation or formal assessment of their learning,

·        tech used

·        Anything else interesting?

18-20 students.

Students will work in pairs to construct the intervention, based on some or all of the learning outcomes above.  They will do a targeted piece of work over 6 weeks period with the community partner.

 Reflections/evaluations can be presented by students in different ways – orally, in class as well as written.

What did your students learn or how will they benefit?

This should be a great opportunity for the students to ‘learn by doing’ and relate theoretical concepts to real life practice. For some students who have a lot of experience in one service (example, homeless services) they have the opportunity to work in a different area (for example disability services). Some students who return to a Master’s programme are looking for opportunities to change direction and this can give them an insight into the different services. The sharing of expertise with peers is important, linking to the UN Sustainable Goals. Particularly in relation to funding and commissioning work, students would rarely have the opportunity to work on this in practice, it would usually be an exercise on paper.

What do you think the benefit was to the partner? Do you have any feedback from the partner?

The project hasn’t happened yet as Margaret wasn’t teaching this year. It is planned for next year.

Advice you would give to someone starting a CERL project with students?


Preparation is key, writing out the different exercises and details for the project. Be brave/confident enough to go ahead with the project. Underpin the work with strong pedagogical concepts. Margaret used Fink’s Taxonomy for example, for the relational aspect of the project work. Don’t be afraid to change and be flexible and deal with the uncertainties that this work might throw up It’s an organic process and you need to be able to adjust and change every time you start a new project.